Mass Murders: Domestic and Foreign
America's most recent mass murders have brought the usual reactions;
sincerely motivated calls for more gun control and sincerely motivated calls for less gun control. We are the
most sincerely well armed population in the world and while that hardly threatens
our authoritarian democracy with armed insurrection or protects us from being
robbed in the marketplace, it does menace us all. We're in danger of being
offed by well armed amateur criminals, family members , neighbors or lunatics
whose only freedom seems to be the purchase and lethal use of a gun. The latest crimes
more opportunities for placing blame on individuals or minority groups for these
outbursts of free market insanity, rarely looking to their root causes as being
social rather than simply personal.
The murderer of innocent Sikhs attending a religious service
was media-fied into an even a greater menace than the murderer of innocent
movie goers attending a more commercial service. The killer of twelve in
Colorado was briefly probed and found to be intelligent and with some academic achievements
to balance his visits to a therapist. But the murderer of six in Wisconsin provoked
a frenzy of fear mongering over his being a member of a "white supremacist hate
group". That was more than enough info for servants of the 1% who do analysis
to make sure that minority power and control is never questioned. Problems
always originate from the lower depths of the 99%, never from above.
We can continue
accepting conclusions about individual
American nutcases if we want further alienation of more of our people. And when
they are most socially estranged and dangerous, see to it that they can purchase weapons instead
of offering them what they desperately need; economic security , political trust and the psychological comfort only
possible -- and even then hardly guaranteed - with at least a bit of inner peace.
The Wisconsin killer was analyzed to reveal his shocking
racism and malevolent anger at government but hardly to learn why these may
have developed. This nation has never experienced racial animosity among its
people, nor has it ever murdered tens of thousands of darker skinned foreign
people, all in pursuit of democracy and social justice
. Americans unanimously love and trust their
government and we are such devoted
patriots that we never cheat on our taxes and whether liberal, fascist ,
conservative or socialist rarely take deductions to lower our tax bills in
denial of our duties as citizens.
Now let's wipe the drool from our chins and attempt a look
at material reality.
What role might the Wisconsin man's economic and social
background have played in turning him into the white supremacist he became? Did
his military experience have anything to do with it? Some hustlers who profit
from these tragedies have charged the services with breeding such belief
systems. Really? Long before but especially since 911, political, military and
religious leaders have preached racial animosity, disrespect and hatred of "the
other", especially Muslims, so
that our armed forces could invade foreign countries and murder
the people we
teach them are an evil menace to this society. You mean they might bring that
kind of thinking home with them?
Those theorizing about the Wisconsin murderer after the fact
are often far from the social realities and military experience that brings a
level of violence most of us only live vicariously while fantasizing what we might
like to do to our bosses, politicians or other drivers. The professionals who
study these killers are rarely from backgrounds that might afford them gut
level experience such as may have come to the person driven over the edge. In
this case, the Wisconsin murderer's service was in military psy-ops; "psychological
operations" in which advertising and public relations propaganda techniques are
developed and used to get people to believe what isn't reality but what they
should accept if things are to go the American way. Sound familiar? Ever watch TV
news? So he may have been
more sophisticated than many of his professional analysts might assume, but he
was not so privileged as to be protected from having his home in foreclosure.
He was a truck driver , among the economic class that joins
the military to find work or get an education, who lost his home to the bank or
finance company. Hardly an atypical american story and not the mainstream
middle class experience - increasingly revealed as a manifestation of corporate
psy-ops - but surely not an excuse for committing murder. Yet this brief glance
at material reality offers a potential framework beyond psycho-babble as reason
for why a transformation of character and personality might have taken place.
His racism was said to have grown if not originated in the
military, where he found it difficult to advance while he saw blacks achieving
gains by virtue of affirmative action which benefitted them and not his white
working class group. This attitude is hardly uncommon and too readily dismissed
by people of far more privilege than those who express such alleged bigotry.
The racism is often real but just as often provoked by the unfairness of market
forces that have reduced some white workers to being less profitable commodities
than other groups. Some who are racially hate driven but others who are reduced
to such thinking by their material status in society become members of extremist
religious or political groups, often because there are no others listening to
or dealing with their problems. The most extreme are so-called supremacist
groups which are often driven to acting supreme because they are treated like
something much less.
How many suffering groups persecuted, abused and treated
with disrespect, or sometimes believing they are persecuted. abused and treated
with disrespect, rationalize their mistreatment by concluding that they are not
only aggrieved, but actually superior to all those who abuse, persecute and
disrespect them? Without such rationalization the Abrahamic faiths would not
exist, to speak of only one of humanity's methods of coping with the brutal suffering,
injustice and awesome mystery of life itself. Analyses not rooted in the
political economic status regime that benefits ruling power would reveal that
all social divisions have nothing to do with human difference in essence
-- there are none, there is only one race - but only with a rich minority class
and the ideas implanted among the people to keep it in power over divided
In a society based on the social misfortunes of some
creating the personal fortunes of others, the responsibility for injustice can
be made to seem the worker who advances beyond you despite your abilities, or
the immigrant using social services you pay for with your taxes. Simply
dismissing those who accept such notions as racist hate mongers only makes one
thing certain. There will be many more of them and some will go over the edge,
where they will be very well armed by the weapons marketplace. And all of us
will pay a much heavier social price for acting so ignorantly, thoughtlessly
and with such bigotry towards them.
The reckless disregard with which allegedly sophisticated
people dismiss those they find their intellectual inferiors but who are in
reality more often their economic tools, is a terrible shortcoming of otherwise
good people who suffer from the same divisive policies of ruling powers acting
through their servant class in the upper strata of the 99%.
Given that we spend trillions of dollars on weapons and war,
more than any other nation on earth, the fact that we murder one another with
more regularity than the people of any other nation should not be surprising. Are
we deadly because we bomb cities, invade countries and murder tens of thousands
in wars -- all for good reason, of course, since they are our worst social
enemies -- or because we murder our neighbors, shoppers at the mall, gang
bangers on the street or workers at the office -- all for good reason, of
course, since they are our worst personal enemies? Whether we perform as
nutcase individuals possessed by Satan, capitalism, or terrorist fanaticism, or heroic servants to the cause
possessed by patriotism, dedication to family, flag and nation, the end result
is the same.
At least the individual nutcases were not "following orders",
except for voices within their heads which we judge as making them individually
insane, even if they thought it was god. What is our social excuse? Why do we
still hold Germans and Germany "guilty" for past wars while we laud our own
mass murders as performance in the line of duty and following orders? That's exactly
what got quite a few Germans executed after WW2.
With the twisted nature of reality as it is presented to Americans,
"authority" is rarely identified clearly and can be made to seem
minorities (choose one, just keep us divided), the unemployed, seniors,
youth, the poor,
people of color, people of no color, and last but not least, the
godlike or satanic entity (choose one, just keep us divided) that works
most of us is a force identified by rulers as exercised by those with
power than we. In short, rich people don't have nearly enough, working
have too much, and poor people are just lolling about the projects,
in doorways and under bridges having the time of their squalid lives at
When guilty rather than responsible people look at the
ugliness of historical and institutional racism in america, they too often
conclude that there is something called "white privilege" that works across the
board for all "white" people. This is exactly how rulers like their divide and
conquer programs to work. Don't look high above to see the flaws in your
society, only look below or at those with just a bit more than you. People are
easily motivated to respond in anger to those who use social services which
they pay for, and resent those who are helped by divisive social policies -
like affirmative action - which guarantee benefits to only a few while seeing
to it that many pay the price. But certainly not the predominantly white minority
at the top -- now with a few multiculturally diverse assistants at their side
--enjoying all of the benefits while absorbing none of the costs.
The next time you see a homeless white man panhandling or
rummaging through a trash basket, ask him what he did with his "white
privilege" and then think about what a great democracy we have with poverty and
degradation coming to all races, creeds and nationalities, equally, without any
distinction. Except personal bankroll.
Capitalist society is all about profits for some at the
expense of most and it is in a state of crisis revealed more clearly every day.
These mass murderers are not only manifestations of personal psychoses, but of social
breakdowns kept from us by consciousness controllers . We won't end seemingly
senseless murders of Americans at home until we stop equally senseless
disregard for life in foreign countries. Our problems cannot be solved with
simply personal solutions for damaged individuals; we need social solutions
that protect all of us in a terminally damaged culture. These involve radical restructuring
of our political economy, ending the warfare state , the weapons market ,
fossil fuel as the staff of life, having full employment and health care for
all and getting such things by controlling public wealth through public banks.
Until and unless we affect such change, we will face more wars, more
ecological and social breakdowns, which will come to us in our places
of worship, our shopping malls, our city centers, and in our homes.
None of us will be safe until all of us can live in safety.